Muzio Clementi

Clementi, Muzio (mōˈtsēō klāmĕnˈtē) [key], 1752–1832, Italian composer, pianist, and conductor, b. Rome. He wrote more than 100 keyboard sonatas, which set the definitive form, and he had an enormous influence on almost everything concerning the piano. Educated in Italy, he went (1766) to England to live and study. In 1773 he caused a sensation in London as a pianist and conductor; there he conducted the Italian Opera from 1777 to 1780. In 1780 he went on a concert tour of Europe, which climaxed in a piano contest with Mozart. He returned to London in 1782 and, except for tours on the Continent (1802, 1810, 1820–21), spent the rest of his life there. Clementi amassed a fortune as performer, conductor, and proprietor of a piano factory and publishing house. Teacher of many musicians, including the pianists J. B. Cramer and John Field and the composer Meyerbeer, he is especially remembered for his series of études, Gradus ad Parnassum (1817); he also wrote several symphonies.

See catalog by A. Tyson (1967).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.